Thursday, June 20, 2013

Fianyarr: Angelics & Demonics

Often angelics are guardian figures who advise communities.
The difference between Angelics and Demonics is the difference between a benevolent relationship with kindly ones and an ambivalent or sometimes malevolent relationships with others.  You see, most monsters in Fianyarr are unabashedly so.  This means that players never have to worry about if they're doing the right thing when they slay Redcaps or other monsters which is a useful quality for a game where characters are expected to kick in the doors and kill things.  If a game loads you up on guilt you tend to stay your hand.

When a team of player characters run up against a demonic, however, things might get complicated.  Not always but often enough.  A kelpy might be a mindless killer, a kidnapper who changes children in watery cages, might have fallen in love with a local villager and wishing to live a normal life (for a time) or it might even be a known protector of a village in exchange for the right to drown and consume bandits and other cruel menaces to the village.  Demonics, therefore, lead to more complexity in the game.  Unlike some of the more ambiguous critters who do what they do not out of malice but hunger, a demonic is also sentient and generally more powerful with its own motivations and personality.

Angelics, on the other hand, are entities that are unabashedly good and decent creatures that bring out the best qualities in those that spend time with them.  Oh, they might have their vices.  What Valkyrie doesn't enjoy a good drink or battle while in possession of a willing mortal?  However Valkyries never deny another their free will and will also stamp down on cruelties like slavery, torture, or the slaughter of those who have surrendered their arms.

Players can normally identify a demonic or angelic with a successful occult roll (or academics roll if its a legendary beast known in the local area).  If they can identify that something is a kelpy, then they can identify that its a demonic and may, or may not, be evil just as they could identify a Valkyrie as an angelic.  Of course, if they haven't collected enough information to correctly identify a particular creature the roll will give them a bit of information on a number of different options - such as that the creature could either be a Fury (demonic) or Valkyrie (angelic).

So are angelics and demonics a separate category of creatures?

Well, no, not really.  They're more a label used by people to quickly describe whether you can trust a creature or not.  The trouble with demonics, after all, is that you can't even trust that they will be entirely evil or that killing them is necessarily a good thing.

I hear you asking for examples.  Well, read on, fair reader and you'll see some concepts.

Not all demonics look inhuman.

Shantell ("Shan't Tell") is a young woman with a violent expression on her face who can unsheath blades which she uses to tear apart violent criminals.  She presumes herself to be judge, jury and executioner.  While she tracks down and dispatches rapists and murderers, she also slays thugs and even those who just got involved in a bar room brawl.  She has existed for a long time though she never remembers more than a decade of her existence.  If asked she would state that she is making the town a better place to live but in truth she is a danger to everyone as she isn't even that great an investigator.  She is a demonic.  Perhaps she is one day convinced to do things a little differently or maybe she needs to be put to the sword.  That is for the players to decide.  (Razorhands Darkling, Contracts of Smoke 5, Contracts of Vainglory 2).


Billy the Wing appears to be a youth in his middle teens with grey skin, lightly glowing blue eyes and a gargoyle's legs, wings and tail that nevertheless feels like a human to the touch.  He's made as a Lurkglider kith / Darkling Seeming and he has five dots in Contracts of Darkness and is built as an otherwise standard changeling with 50 experience points and Wyrd 3.  He is the manifestation of a young boy's hopes and dreams when the first villagers to settle in that spot were wiped out while the boy was a lookout.  When the boy died, his desire to protect the village left an imprint that slowly coalesced into the creature that pulled itself out of the soil and now protects this new village.  He seems rather childlike and is frightened of direct combat but will do what he can to protect people.  (Lurkglider Darkling, Contracts of Darkness 5, Contracts of Hearth 3, Wyrd 3, 50 experience points across the skills with a focus on stealth, academics and athletics).


In my future posts on Fianyarr creatures I will sometimes indicate if a creature is an angelic or a demonic.  Feel free to adapt it to suit your story.  The last thing I want is for people to be able to predict your fantasy land because of some decisions I have made.  If a creature isn't listed as such then they're either a critter (a simple predator) or a monster (irrevocably evil) and the characters may slay them without a second thought.  You will be able to find such articles in a list over here.

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